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Opposition Leader Released In Kyrgyzstan

Opposition leader Omurbek Tekebaev at meeting in Talas region.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz police have released a prominent opposition leader who was detained on January 17 and accused of trying to organize an illegal rally.

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports that Omurbek Tekebaev, head of the Ata Meken (Fatherland) party, was released on January 18.

Tekebaev had been detained in the northern Talas region, where his party had been due to hold a conference.

The party has now decided to postpone the conference, and to instead hold peaceful meetings in different districts of Talas region.

Tekebaev, a former speaker of parliament, has long been at odds with Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev. He has sharpened his criticism of the authorities in recent months.